Hoping to arrive at the islands on July 10th, travelling solo and backpacking...sounds like kecil/ long beach is my scene, want to learn to dive and chill out etc...but also sounds like finding accommodation at this time is sometimes impossible??
I understand it's a turn up and try affair, but i'll be getting there late afternoon and staying on long beach would be great - or is it too difficult to get a place at this time of year?
Also if anyone knows a good/ friendly dive outfit??
Thanks a million!
It can be tricky to find accomodation on the Perhentians. It might be easier if you can find someone, eg on the way, who is willing to share. But you'll hopefully be ok!
The Perhentians are a fantastic place to learn to dive, as the water is very calm and clear and there's loads to see, coral, turtles etc. I did my PADI Open Water at Turtle Bay Divers, halfway along Long Beach. I highly recommend them. As the island is fairly small and quiet, you can learn in nice small groups. We only had 3 or 4 people per instuctor, and the equipment was all quite new. It was cheap too, about 800ringett or about £115(in April 2005).
Good Luck and have a great time
Yup agree too-it is tricky. We flew into Kuala Lumpur and got a night bus (saves a nights money) we had to wait at port for about an hour at 6am for first boat but that gave us a chance to meet other travellers. Then around the islands dropping off people ans lastly to Kecil so got a nice tour too. This means you are first on Long Beach and have your pick. It may be limited travelling on your own.
Re diving I did my padi in Coral Sky divers. Had fantastic instructors, didnt want to leave them in the end. Very relaxed atmosphere and great fun. It was right infront of my chalet in Panorama Resort. They had a pool table and videos every evening here as well as internet (painfully slow) and a library and the coolest/craziest/creepiest owner/manager EVER. The best bit was that included in the price was a barbeque every evening. Best food I ever had, fresh crab, kingklip, prawns etcetc with roti every day. Felt the body of health when we got to thailand (didnt last long with the thai whiskey tho)
very jealous of you actually - its a fab place
very jealous of you actually - its a fab place
thanks for the replies and advice - much appreciated! Did u find that time of arrival makes a difference - i was planning to get onto the island at about 2-3pm, but guess i could stay in kl and take the night bus to arrive early morning....
guess in the end i'll just rock up whenever i can and see what happens! Thats the real charm of travelling.....! When it all goes wrong, uve no place for the night, that rucksac is heavy - after about a while u can look back and giggle....
Make sure you don't arrive during a national or school holiday otherwise you will have trouble finding somewhere.
I noticed that where you buy your ticket for the speed boat at Kuala Besut, you can also book your accomadation. I'm not sure whether they were tied to anybody, but it maybe worth an ask.
You can also check the following site for accomadation lists:
I would definately reccomend sunshine dive school (i think its called that). Anyway its right at the far end of the beach (the opposite end to coral divers). Def do as many dives as you can afford as it works out to about £8 per dive and is the cheapest place you can do it and so much nicer thatn say, 'koh tao' in Thailand which is really touristy. We ended up planning a 7 night stay, that turned into 10, then 14 and then finally forcing ourself to leave after 18 nts. You can also stay at the rooms at this dive center and if you want to pay for everything on card at the end. It was also really convenient for us to set up a tab for breakfast, lunch, dinner, diving, drinks etc and pay for it all at the end.
P.s everything is so expensive on the island alcohol wise and things like suncream so make sure u stock up b4 u go. Also, the whether is lovely this time of yr!!!
have a good time..im v. jeleous
p.p.s. YES it does make a difference what tie you get there. Accomodation is limited and un bookable so the earlier the better. if you meet someone along the way it might be a nice idea to leave bags wiv one of yoy whilst the other trapeses the beach looking for a room
What everyone says is true, evrything is lots more expensive on the islands. I'd totaly recommend trying to get there earlier. For good food, look out for the places that do BBQ fish. There was one at the right-hand end of the beach as you face it which did really good cheap bbq.
I also recommemd insect repellent. I got lots of bites from what i belive were sand flies or something. But the Perhentians are SO beautiful.